There’s something compelling about the idea of sex-for-hire.
Let me back up a bit and put in a little context.
You’d think I’d be the kind of guy who’d spent a lotta time in strip clubs. Hell, I am the kinda guy who’d spend a lotta time in strip clubs. But I have not. I don’t even know why; god knows I love strippers. I can’t think of anything not to like about the idea of a strip club.
Yet, I’ve been to very few. It’s a head scratcher.
So Saturday, for a combined birthday, we wound up finishing the evening at a strip club. There’s more to the story earlier, and possibly later, but I’ll stick with this for now. I’ll talk about Teatro ZinZanni in a different entry.
So, at this strip club, a number of lap dances were bought, some by me, some for me. And lots and lots of lap dances, and a lot of ‘private parties’ were offered as well. Evidently I was something of a stripper magnet in my leather utilikilt, shaved head, boots and tattoos. Well, that, and while I might be scary in a good way, at least to these ladies, I wasn’t creepy.
Several delightful experiences were had. Again, details later, or never. But the entire thing got me thinking on the simplicity or sex for hire.
So back to the topic of sex for hire. Our culture uses the word “whore” as a pejorative term. I don’t know why. There are times, places, where it was a position of honor. Yet, even I will shout “Fucking Whore!” at another diver, or will use it in sex-talk (Are you daddy’s little whore? Are you daddy’s filthy slut? Hey, it works for some people…)
But I know professionals. I know people who work in the sex industry, quite a few of them. I know adult web masters, erotic artists, writers. I know escorts. I know strippers. I know phone sex operators. Some of these people are on a short list of my very good friends.
I have nothing, absolutely nothing, but respect for these people. They do something far, far more important than I do, far more necessary, far more useful. I sit in an office making sure people who use software tools can use the tools correctly. Basically, I help other people make computers. My friends in the sex industry deal in pleasure and satisfaction. They meet a real, basic human need, as basic, as essential, as shelter and companionship and physical safety.
Some of them are part therapist. Some of them do work that’s actually dangerous. The strippers, the escorts, they are in real physical danger at times, and they risk disease on the job every day.
These people work hard. They don’t, for the most part, get rich. So why do they do it?
I can’t speak broadly. I didn’t know a big enough sample. But the sample I know do it for a couple reasons; they have a talent for it, they make a living at it, and to put it simply, they are doing work they enjoy.
There’s an image of hookers as junkies and runaways, fucked up, beaten down people. And that’s real; street hooking is a shitty thing to do, it’s dangerous, and a lot of people in trouble wind up there without intending to. But the women I know who work as escorts (and call it what you will, call-girl, hooker, prostitute, escort, GFE, it’s the same deal, it’s still an exchange of money for sexual services) do so because they like the work. They enjoy and are good at sex, and they can get paid doing it. So they do. These are the same people who work for places like Nevada’s Moonlight Bunny Ranch. Some of these women make bank, and they’re good at what they do, they’re reasonably safe.
Can they do this forever? No. But in some cases they don’t have to, they make enough to invest well and retire rich.
Now, not all sex workers are at that level. There are a lot of girls in that gray area; I guess they’d call themselves dancers, and they do dance, but when they get off stage and offer a private dance, and touching is involved, they’re not something else. I’d call it whore or prostitute, but I’d say that with respect. They might use a different term, I’ll have to ask. Some of these women work in shitty clubs and get treated badly; some, like the club I went to in SF last Saturday, are in upper echelons of the trade. They work in a safe, clean place, they’re protected, they make top dollar. They work hard and have to spend a lot of time being touched by people they’d never choose to play with in civilian life. Some of them hate it, some tolerate it, sure, but some love it.
But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about. That’s just to make it clear how deeply I respect people in the sex trade. Not just in a prurient way, though there’s that; but as one professional person to another, I respect what they do for a living, and will fight to protect their right to do it in this evil political climate.
What I wanted to talk about, though, was why the idea can be so appealing from a customer’s (or would it be a consumer’s) point of view.
Life can be so complicated. Some things are easy to understand; you order a big mac, you get a big mac, the price is listed. But so much in life isn’t like that. Politics; personal dynamics. Social interactions. We need to develop the skills of a negotiator, often, to survive childhood.
We spend the day at work, most of us, dealing with other people, egos, angers, frustrations. We go home, or go out, and interact with kids or parents, mates or friends, dates or games or hobbies. All of it, there’s a constant interplay of expectations and protocols, rules and demands. Yet, nothing is written down for us. There’s no manual. The rules, worse yet, are conditional. You’re good looking and have an easy wit and charm? Hell, we can let you slide there, give you extra here. You’re funny looking, smell weird, can’t dress yourself? Well, you know, those rules, there’s not so much give. Oh, you’re rich? Forget what we said.
So say you want to get some basic needs met. You can go get a burger. A beer. A pair of shoes. Sure. There’s the price, there’s the goods, done.
Sex is a basic a need as any we have, and as universal. But we can’t just order it.
Even in a relationship; even a new one, a hot one, one where you want to rip each other’s clothes off most of the time, there are politics. What if you forgot an anniversary? What if you didn’t call? What if you said the wrong thing at the wrong time?
Giving up the body is one of our most intimate, important transactions. It’s often taken for granted, but it’s something with significant cultural value.
So often, meeting that need, the simple need for physical release, becomes a complicated negotiation with unwritten and variable rules.
Pornography is sex-for-money at it’s most basic. It’s an object; a book, a film, a picture on your computer, an audio file. You buy it (ok, it’s often free but somewhere in that chain you pay), and you use it for sexual satisfaction. It is simple; obtain the stimulation, add physical manipulation, and you get your basic sexual need met.
But that’s just release. It’s good; oh, lord, without release, I should be a madman. But it’s lacking a key component of sex; interaction. We’re made to mate, not just to release, else we’d be like fish spawning, and leave sperm and egg under a leaf somewhere.
So you get interactive experience. Phone sex; oh, what a discovery Alexander Graham Bell made. I wish we could identify, though, who first used his device for auditory stimulation. Strippers; live on stage shows. Not so interactive, but they know you’re there, you know they know you’re there.
But sometimes, it has to be more personal. As big a fan as I am of masturbation, of phone sex, of cyber-sex by chat or email, sometimes you need a tangible physical presence. Some of the whys are obvious; tactile. But some are less so; smell is a huge component of sexuality to me, as is taste. If I can’t smell and taste a playmate’s sweat, something is missing, no matter how good things get. So you sometimes need a more personal experience for your entertainment dollar.
The fact is, there is nothing quite like looking at someone of the appropriate sex and saying to yourself — I can have that, with no strings, no issues, a known price.
You know, when you look into a hooker’s eyes, that she’s yours any way you want. And you know the price. There’s no buy me dinner anbd I might no buy me drinks, and I might. There’s no might. There’s no issue over who gets to, or has to, or which way, or who’s on top, or who’s wearing what when.
You read the menu, you make the order, you get your treat, you pay, you’re finished, both of you. No fuss, only the expected mess.
Now, that makes it sound like civilian sex is bad, or a problem. Obviously, that’s not what I’m saying. Sex with a loved one is just about as good as life gets; that is not even on the scale for comparison. For a man, for this man, ejaculating into the belly of someone you love is just about life’s greatest, simplest joy, exceeded only by watching said loved one have an orgasm.
But it can be likened to the experience of cooking all day for the joy of cooking, vs. paying a great restaurant to prepare and serve your food and insure your pleasure. I love to cook, possibly more than I love to eat. Yet, the simplicity of ordering a great steak, and knowing it’s going to be perfect or they’ll do it again, has a completely different appeal than doing it myself. Cooking is work, an exercise; it’s about the experience and process. Dining is about pure, simple pleasure, fine drink, fine food, pay, tip, thanks, and you are done to sleep it off. Both wonderful experiences, but one is about my skill and hard work, the other is an exchange of money for pleasure.
So sex for hire is akin to this. It’s about pleasure for pay; it’s about a simple, focused experience. Stripper, lap dance, whore, phone sex, whatever your choice of a professional sexual service, it’s simple, and it’s all about you, the customer, the consumer. It’s about you feeling good, and nothing else.
Obviously, there are risks. Today, more than ever, we know this. People who frequent these services put themselves and anyone else they’re in contact with at risk. Don’t be stupid, play safe.
But what I’m talking about is the idea; the appeal of the idea. Sex — For Hire.
I’ve walked down a street in Amsterdam, after smoking legal hash in a cafe, and window-shopped for legal prostitutes. I’ve walked down a street in a big city and said hello to street hookers. I’ve spoken to professional escorts about what they do and what they’d like to do for me if I fork down a wad of cash. I’ve watched documentaries about legal brothels in Nevada; I’ve looked at phone sex offerings, cards listing various special services, dom and sub for hire.
And the idea — every time I look, every time I shop, every time I walk past some cute tranny or tramp or slut on the street who’s clearly for hire — the idea is freedom of choice, luxury, simplicity. I can have that, any time, any way.
There is no reason anyone can ever come up with why this is a bad thing, a bad idea. You may not buy it — I may not buy it. But we can buy it, and that’s what I’m talking about. That’s how things should be.
I met a stripper named Felicity in a club in San Francisco Saturday night. She was possibly the prettiest sex industry pro I’ve ever seen; a lovely young girl with a ripe, tight body and sweet, natural little tits. She admired my utilikilt and talked to me like a person, not a mark to be separated from my money. I treated her, in return, with respect for what she did, who she was. I paid her well, and she put on a show for me and two of my closest females, and made an impression on us we won’t forget. I hope we made an impression on her; she made our weekend and I’m hoping we at least made her evening memorable.
If I had a glass of something, I’d drink a toast to her, and everyone who does what she does, and everyone out there in the sex industry who works hard and is worried about today’s anti-sex politics.
Those readers I have who are in the industry, thank you, for what you do and what you are. You’re important. Do not give up, I will fight with my vote and my dollar and my voice to keep what you do legal, or make it more legal. It’s going to be a fight, but you will win, we will win, because no matter how powerful stupidity is, sex is always stronger.